Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous: Page 83 & 84 (Fourth Edition)
My share on Step One:
OA is the first place where I understood that I have a disease of addiction. Yes, I am an addict. I am physically addicted to sugar and dependent on white flour and large volumes of food. When I ingest sugar, it sets off the phenomenon of craving which will not subside until I eat more sugar. The relief is extremely short as I will need another fix as soon as the first one wears off. I turned to white flour for my comfort foods, and I used volume to push down all those painful feelings I did not want to face in life. I kept this up for thirty-five years of my adult life, never understanding why I could not eat normally like the rest of my family. I thought there was something wrong with me, that I was to blame for not being able to eat like everyone else. I felt that I had done something wrong in my past and this is how I was being punished.
When OA said I had an actual disease, I felt relief. It was not my fault! I was not to blame! Since I have a disease of addiction and it is not curable, I am not in control of my overeating. I no longer have that responsibility. In effect, I am powerless over my consumption of food. I have been since that terrible night in 1969.
How was my life unmanageable? When I came to OA on my third try, I weighed 300 pounds, had diabetes and high blood pressure, along with the aches and pains of the severely obese. Two relationships with other people had ended, one in divorce and one in abandonment. Basically I lived in seclusion, isolated from the rest of the world, only appearing when it was time to go to work. My life was work, eat, television and sleep. I didn't go anywhere and I didn't do much of anything. My feelings about myself as a person were riddled with insecurity, fear, depression and a sense of hopelessness.
Am I powerless over my food and has my life become unmanageable? YES! Admitting that is what saved me from continuing to waste my life with this disease of addiction. Because I am able to face the truth of my addiction over food and how it was destroying my life, I am now able to work the 12-step program of OA and change my life for the better. Are you ready to change yours?
Love in recovery,
The First Step Prayer
Today, I ask for help with my addiction. Denial has kept me from seeing how powerless I am and how my life is unmanageable. I need to learn and remember that I have an incurable illness and that abstinence is the only way to deal with it. Amen
Principle of Step One
In Step One we learn the principle of honesty as we admit our personal powerlessness over food, and the fact that without help we cannot successfully manage our own lives. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions page 103.
To help comprehend the questions, please read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Read the first chapter on Step One, then answer the questions, go back and reread the Step One chapter and add on to your answers if needed.
It is a good idea to read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to understand the concept of addiction. Pay particular attention to the chapters: A Doctor's Opinion, There is a Solution and More on Alcoholism.
1. What is the first step inventory of my compulsive overeating and/or anorexia and/or bulimia? (You should do a history of your eating disorder in detail. When it began, how it progressed and where in life it led you. Include other solutions tried and particular foods that give you trouble.)
2. How do my food behaviors affect me physically, emotionally and spiritually?
3. Am I in touch with my feelings? Do I experience anger, fear, pain? Am I able to express feelings of happiness, contentment or serenity?
4. How is my life unmanageable? Do I have any health problems? Relationship problems? Financial problems? Job problems?
5. Am I able to be honest with the problems food causes me? Am I interested in program as a way of life? Am I ready to change and to learn?
Suggestions that may help you with this step study: Realize that no one is telling you what to do in program. Whatever directions you receive, they are suggestions only and it is up to you whether you follow through or not. We each work our own individual programs. My sponsor lovingly reminds me that a suggestion is like telling a person jumping from a plane they MAY need a parachute. So, keeping that in mind, it is suggested that you:
1. Find a sponsor, if you do not already have one, to help guide you and to listen to you while you are working through the steps and beyond. When sending in your answers to the step questions, send a copy to your sponsor also. If you do not have a sponsor, you will find directions in getting a sponsor at this link: www.therecoverygroup.org/sponsors.html
2. This is an excellent chance to do your 90 meetings in 90 days while also working through the steps in 90 days. When I first became abstinent, the 90 & 90 suggestion really helped support me through those first fragile days.
3. Get a copy of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous along with The Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions of OA. Both will be a huge benefit to you. To get a copy, visit www.oa.org or visit your local face to face meeting.
4. Keep on file your answers to all step questions, as you will need to refer back to them in Steps Five through Nine.
5. Remember, you are not alone in this. Reach out to other members and your sponsor to help you through difficult sharing.
6. If you have a question, please type in the subject line of your reply: "Question" and I will try to answer as soon as possible. Thank you!
The Twelve Steps
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